Posts Tagged ‘Mrs Leslie Carter’


Mrs Leslie Carter as La Du Barry, 1901

October 4, 2013

Mrs Leslie Carter (1857-1937), American actress, as she appeared in the title role of David Belasco‘s play, Du Barry, which was first produced on 12 December 1901 at the New National Theatre, Washington, D.C., before transferring to the Criterion Theatre, New York, on 25 December 1901.
(photo: Sarony, New York, 1901)

The New National Theatre, Washington, D.C., Thursday, 12 December 1901.
‘The Du Barry play, after many postponements, was brought out on Thursday night. The performance started before 8 o’clock and ran until after midnight, and yet it was difficult for the observer from the front to point out what material might wisely be sacrificed, for the play is interesting from beginning to end. It is unfortunately that the people who conquer in the battles of every-day life, who triumph obscurely over the adverse conditions of existence, cannot be made successful heroes or heroines. The Trilbys, the Zazas and the Saphos has been exploited until the public might be expected to grow weary of the so-called ”outcasts of society.” But Du Barry is the greatest triumph of recent times. The play is a deliberate falsification of truth so far as the character of the heroine is concerned, but it is cleverly done… .
‘Mrs. Carter is credited with a ready wit which saved the scene in which she strikes her wounded lover and renders him unconscious, so that she can conceal him from the king, who is demanding admittance. It is the scene which represents the lavishly furnished apartment of Du Barry, a scene which must have cut a very considerable figure in the enormous sum total given as the cost of the production. Instead of falling on the ten-thousand-dollar bed, where Du Barry was to conceal him by throwing a twenty-five-hundred-dollar coverlet over him, the lover fell with a crash to one side, smashing $1,158.64 worth of furniture in his descent. But Mr. Belasco, who was standing in the wings, did not care for the furniture. The speech prepared for this scene was rendered inappropriate by the accident.
‘The eminent stage manager groaned.
‘The company turned white.
‘The supernumeraries shuddered.
‘But Mrs. Carter never paused. She made up some talk of her own, which answered every purpose and the act proceeded to a conclusion which brought forth an ovation from the audience.’
(The Evening Star, Washington, DC, 14 December 1901, p. 22a)


Marie Dainton

April 21, 2013

Marie Dainton (1880?-1938), Russian born English actress, vocalist and mimic, appears at Keith’s Grand Opera House, Indianapolis, November 1909
(photos: Bassano, London, circa 1909)

‘A vaudeville bill full of pleasing features and singularly free from weak points was presented to an enthusiastic matinee audience at the Grand yesterday. While no act on the bill cam be ranked as a sensational headliner, there are three or four whose high average brings it into the list of the banner bills of the season.
‘Marie Dainton, a pretty impersonator of stage celebrities, hailing from the London music halls, has an imitation of Maude Adams in What Every Woman Knows that is a gem. She had caught Miss Adams’s voice exactly, even to the fine twists and turns that have rendered that voice one of the most charming on the stage, and she has also appropriated a number of Miss Adams’s little mannerisms. Glancing away from the stage while Miss Dainton is speaking the closing lines of What Every Woman Knows, it is easy to imagine – it is almost conviction, in fact – that Maude Adams in person is on the stage. In her impersonations Miss Dainton uses no makeup, relying upon voice and manner to create the necessary illusions. This makes her task much harder, of course. Besides Maude Adams, Miss Dainton at the matinee yesterday impersonated Anna Held, Irene Franklin, Bert Williams and Mrs. Leslie Carter, catching the mannerisms of each, without, however, as in the case of Maude Adams, [being] absolutely convincing.
‘Arthur Dunn, the diminutive comedian, and Marie Glasier are back in their sketch, The Messenger Boy. They were given a hearty reception by the matinee audience, and, in spite of Miss Glasier’s overworked laugh, the sketch went with a rush. It has been either brushed up or worked down since it was seen here last season and in consequence is much improved.
‘In addition to Marie Dainton’s act there are three one the bill that are decidedly artistic – Witt’s ”Girls From Melody Lane.” Mr. and Mrs. Erwin Connelly in a sketch entitled Sweethearts, and Miss Winona Winters in songs, impersonations and a ventriloquial offering.
”’The Girls From Melody Lane” are a quartet of High-class singers, whose voices, excellent individuality, blend perfectly. The act throughout is neat and ”classy.” There are no costume changes, no attempts at grotesque comedy, nor anything else of the sort tending to mar an offering of this kind. The feature, if there can be a feature where all are so good, is the fine contralto voice of Miss Nina Barbour. The girls are a little unfortunately in their repertory of songs, there being none that leaves a permanent impression. It is the singing, not the song, that counts.
Sweethearts is a sketch that come close to the ideal vaudeville sketch, dealing simply and effectively with a sing theme. It is decidedly English in both its comedy and its pathos, resembling Dickens somewhat. It is presented in two scenes, forty years elapsing between them. The lapse of time is shown effectively by the growing of a sapling into a great tree. Love remains the same. The playlet is excellently acted.
‘Winona Winters, a pretty and vivacious girl, comically imitates a Swedish servant girl and a negro mammy, besides singing pleasingly some straight songs and giving the ventriloquial act for which she is famous among vaudeville lovers.
‘Elsie Faye, a clever little singer and dancer, Joe Miller and Sam Weston present a good singing and dancing costume act; Martin and Maxmillian open the bill with a magician’s act, where every trick is revealed by the awkwardness of the assistant, and the Walthour Trio of cyclists offer some daring novelties. Both the Kinodrome pictures are comic.’
(The Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis, Indiana, Tuesday, 23 November 1909, p. 6f)